How will Emmanuel House be supporting people over Christmas?

This Christmas, Emmanuel House is continuing to work hard to overcome homelessness. Our role is still to do everything possible to prevent people becoming homeless and to support those who are homeless into accommodation.

But we expect to face even bigger challenges in the year ahead.

Not only are we facing a £70,000 income shortfall as a result of the pandemic, Nottingham is also likely to go through a winter dealing with the inevitable threat of job losses and mental health challenges. Aside from the pandemic, new data from Homeless Link reports a new wave of rough sleeping and ever-increasing demand. National Streetlink data for January-September 2020 shows an 82% increase in requests for help from individuals rough sleeping (self-alerts) compared to 2019 (from 5,503 to 10,006), with one quarter still to go.

Rough sleeping figures in Nottingham remain significant. In the hotel we are currently supporting 45 people who otherwise would be rough sleeping.

Since the night shelter moved into a local hotel on 27th March 2020 in response to the Government’s ‘Everybody In’ initiative, as of Thursday 3rd December, the shelter has enabled 6,127 nights’ protection for a total of 236 guests and rough sleepers, providing them with shelter, food, support and en-suite facilities.

As a result of the quality of care from all involved, 100 people have moved on from the hotel. The night shelter has been working in conjunction with local councils and agencies and has received referrals from a variety of sources.

Over Christmas, Emmanuel House will continue providing services including food for those who need it and outreach support, including mental health support, and supporting people in the shelter, which has moved into a hotel.

Emmanuel House is often the first step of recovery out of homelessness for many people in Nottingham, who can do so by accessing one of three different types of service; our drop-in service, the Nottingham Night Shelter and our outreach team.

Emmanuel House Support Centre

This winter, we’re continuing to work with our beneficiaries at Emmanuel House by:

  • Offering services by appointment to people who are homeless, rough sleeping, or in crisis and at risk of homelessness, including support, food, clothing, showers, IT access and haircuts.
  • Linking people with any one of the 100+ services and organisations we’re in touch with.
  • Signposting service users to the support that best suits their needs around mental health, substance misuse or offending histories.
  • Giving out winter clothing and provisions, including sleeping bags, tents, toiletries and underwear.

Take-away food from Emmanuel House’s drop-in centre

Throughout December, every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon Emmanuel House will be serving take-away jacket potatoes with hot fillings from the drop-in centre on Goose Gate.

From 24th December 2020 until 1st January 2021, Emmanuel House will also be serving take-away hot breakfast cobs every morning.

The take-away food will be given out to homeless people and rough sleepers who we are currently working with.

Nottingham Night Shelter

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Nottingham Night Shelter moved into a hotel on 27th March 2020 under the Government’s ‘Everybody In’ scheme. We’ve been providing much-needed support during a period of crisis and have enabled rough sleepers to self-isolate in individual rooms throughout the pandemic. We are now supporting up to 45 guests for the rest of the winter period.

At the hotel we provide:

  • Private rooms with en-suite facilities
  • Hot showers
  • Housing advice and health support
  • Food, drinks and snacks, with the help of other voluntary sector organisations and local restaurants and cafes, we are currently serving over 135 meals a day – that’s over 945 meals every week and over 3,700 every month.

Our services at the hotel will be running as normal over Christmas. The Victoria Hotel in Beeston will be cooking Christmas dinner with all the trimmings on 25th December and we continue to receive meals from local establishments such as The Chayah Project, Pudding Pantry, Prad Thai, Cartwheel Coffee, The Victoria Hotel, I Care Nottingham, Love Mercy Hope and Muslim Hands. The shelter has also recruited more volunteers to help serve food to guests over Christmas and new year, to whom we are incredibly grateful.

Emmanuel House’s Outreach Team

Our outreach service doesn’t stop over Christmas and will be operating as normal. Our outreach team, which is made up of the Wellbeing Support Team, Rough Sleeping Navigators, mental health support and culturally appropriate mental health support, will be offering one-to-one support and helping people to access appointments and consultations with other services and agencies such as health and housing providers.

For many of our service users, our one-to-one support may be the only contact they receive over the festive period. The outreach team recognises that Christmas and new year exacerbates the immense losses that many of the people we support experience, so during this time, our support is more important than ever.

During the pandemic, our outreach team has continued to work with its service users on the phone, over Zoom, meeting at Emmanuel House or at the hotel, or attempting to meet in public places where possible. We’ve been able to give some service users mobile phones to ensure we’re still able to support them. These phones have enabled people to be connected to services which otherwise would not be able to support them.

Hannah explained how the outreach service works: “It’s so important for our beneficiaries to have someone to advocate and fight for them. We make sure they can access the services they need, ensuring they’re working with the right agencies who are listening to their stories. Mostly it’s about being there for them, sharing their journey, making sure they feel safe, supporting them out of the situation. It’s our job to help them through the traumatic experience of homelessness, but also helping them to heal.”

Hannah Byrne, rough sleeping Navigator at Emmanuel House

How you can help Emmanuel House over Christmas

Financial donations

You can contribute to the running of Emmanuel House and its vital services in the following ways:

  • Donate through our Virgin Money page
  • To make a bank transfer to Emmanuel House, please download this donation form and return it to accounts@emmanuelhouse.org.uk. The bank details are the bottom of the form.
  • Text 70450 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message), or text WINTER10 to donate £10, WINTER15 to donate £15 and so on.

How your money will help

  • £10 will contribute towards 10 hot breakfast cobs.
  • £15 will pay for a beneficiary’s taxi to get to a specialist support appointment.
  • £18 will pay for one mobile phone with one month’s credit for a beneficiary.
  • £20 will contribute towards 10 jacket potatoes with hot fillings.
  • £25 will contribute towards a beneficiary’s hot shower, change of clothes, and the opportunity to sit down with someone who can help them.

Food and clothing donations:

This Christmas, we’ll be giving out food and clothing to those most in need. If you’d like to donate, please select specific items from our designated lists. You can read about our current donations and guidelines here.

FAQ:

Can I volunteer to help make or serve the hot take-away food at Emmanuel?
Not at the minute, we’re currently full. Please register your interest in volunteering with Paylor and we’ll be in touch in due course – paylor@emmanuelhouse.org.uk.

Can I donate a shoebox to your service users like I did last year?
Rather than making your own shoe box donations, please select items from the list provided.

Are you doing your usual Christmas presents for service users?
Due to the pandemic and our current health and safety restrictions, we won’t be giving out Christmas gifts as in previous years. Instead we’ll be giving winter clothing and provisions from the support centre.

Can I donate my own care package for your service users?
Rather than putting together your own care package, please donate specific items from our lists. We already have a few items in stock and want our supporters’ donations to be used in the best possible way.

Can I donate second-hand clothes?
Please stick to the items we’ve requested as the charity shop is currently closed and we’re only giving out specific winter clothes to service users.